Cape Town - When a member of the South-Korean boyband BTS celebrated his birthday on Friday, a small organisation in the Swartland in the Western Cape, had much to celebrate too.
BTS fans, known as Army, made the donation to Swartland community organisation The Goedgedacht Trust in honour of vocalist Seokjin Kim's birthday on Friday (December 4).
Global fanbase One In An ARMY (OIAA) do good deeds to spread the boyband’s message of collective power for good.
The network makes micro-donations every month.
The Goedgedacht Trust was established in 1993, to help the poor.
The campaign #BElongwithJin started on November 30 with the slogan “Supporting children to break out of generational poverty” and R303 437 was raised on the Givenchange donation website.
The trust’s director Deon Snyman said when they first received the donation they were suspicious because they has no idea who the boyband or army were.
“Eventually our fundraising manager connected with the Army. We were surprised to start seeing how big BTS is and how strong the Army support base is.”
The 55-year-old is now a big fan of the pop group and blasts BTS songs in his office. At first he thought he was too old to listen to the group, but learnt from Army that fans are his age too.
“I thought I am too old, but they (BTS) have a lot of 55-year-old supporters who also like them. So I am also listening to their music,” he said.
The organisation was recently asked by Swartland Municipality to help feed a number of communities including Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West.
With the support of volunteers, they provided 600 000 meals which benefited more than 2 million people.
They also had Covid-19 isolation facilities on the farm, up until August, with 120 patients.
“We transformed two of our venues into isolation centres. We had 120 patients who recovered here,” he added.
The Army want to help young people who were struggling financially, he said.
OIAA let fans vote for Kim’s birthday project.
The OIAA added that Goegedacht Trust does incredible work and they wanted to make sure they could keep on doing good work.
In a statement OIAA said Kim has consistently shared his belief that we all are precious in our own individual right and deserve a life of compassion and happiness,” they said.
To donate to the organisation see https://www.givengain.com/ap/belongwithjin/